HAMILTON, ON – After careful deliberations, the board of directors and leadership of the HPO have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the 20-21 mainstage season. This decision was made in response to the extension of Ontario’s stay-at-home order to at least June 2.

“While we were privileged to present a number of mainstage chamber concerts this past fall and winter, the current health conditions have created significant challenges for rehearsing and recording our concerts and maintaining a safe working environment for musicians and staff, says Executive Director Kim Varian.

“This decision was taken with care and consideration for our core musicians, patrons and community,” says HPO Board Chair Steve Lloyd. “We are committed to ensuring the long-term stability and sustainability of the HPO and we will continue to support our musicians, music director and staff as we refocus on our return to the concert hall later this year.”

Cancelled programs include online mainstage concerts, while online Talk and Tea broadcasts and two online student concerts have been filmed and will be broadcast in the coming weeks.

Ticket holders for online mainstage concerts have received detailed information via email regarding next steps. Patrons may choose to convert the balance of their outstanding tickets to credit for the 21-22 Season, request a refund for outstanding concerts or donate the value of their remaining tickets back to the organization for a charitable tax receipt.  The HPO thanks ticket holders for their patience as a high volume of requests are processed. Questions regarding tickets may be sent to hhollis@hpo.org.

“We are proud of all we achieved together despite the unpredictability of this year,” says Executive Director Kim Varian, “We provided consistent work for our musicians and will pay them their contracted guarantees for the season. We also retained our small staff team and offered innovative programming, including dozens of online and telephone-based education and community outreach programs. I extend a heart-felt thank you to our donors, sponsors, subscribers, and ticketholders. Their commitment to the HPO has made these successes possible and will aid in our long-term recovery.”

“Though this season will not go forward as planned, we are committed to sharing orchestral music in our 21-22 Season,” says Music Director Gemma New. “Shared music experiences are important sources of connection and inspiration and I continue to work with our musicians and leadership to plan a fabulous season that will be announced in the summer of 2021.”


Online content in May and June 2021
In the weeks ahead, the HPO will continue to offer online interviews and at-home performances through digital channels.

Episodes of the Talk and Tea Series will be released to ticketholders through the month of June. These insightful music appreciation talks hosted by Abigail Richardson-Schulte with provide a historical overview of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras of music, as well as an introduction to music theory and Canadian contemporary orchestral music. Each talk features pre-recorded performances by the HPO string quartet, woodwind quintet and brass quintet.

Music Director Gemma New revisits performances of works in our 20-21 Season with composers and HPO musicians in a new limited video series hosted on YouTube, In Conversation with Gemma New. In three episodes released biweekly over May and June, Gemma and featured guests provide insight into the creation and interpretation of pieces featured in the HPO’s online concerts.

HPO musicians are also working collaboratively to release four remote full-orchestra performances. Each musician has recorded their individual parts from home to be edited together. Beginning June 8, these performance videos will be released weekly and include works by Juliet Palmer, Joseph Bologne, Mozart and Rossini. HPO musicians have been compensated for these performances.


Cancelled 20-21 Mainstage Concerts

The Joy of Beethoven
Scheduled April 10, 2021

Haydn & Mendelssohn
Scheduled May 8, 2021

Beethoven’s Eighth
Scheduled May 22, 2021

Mozart & Prokofiev
Scheduled June 10, 2021

Intimate& Immersive: Earthshine
Scheduled June 16, 2021

Intimate & Immersive: Dragon Unfolding
Scheduled June 30, 2021


Twitter: @H_P_O
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About the HPO: The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.


Media Contacts:

Christina Volpini
Marketing and Communications Manager
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x226

Megan Nourse
Communications and Outreach Assistant
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x211